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Monday, May 27, 2024

Black realtor network offers free wealth-building classes

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The Central Indiana Realtist Association (CIRA) provides African American Hoosiers keys to building wealth and becoming homeowners while giving Indianapolis real estate professionals a place to network and give back to their community.

According to real estate broker member Delores Kennedy, CIRA, the Indianapolis chapter of the National Association for Real Estate Brokers, hosts multiple classes monthly to help African Americans buy their first home.

“We are here [CIRA] so that we can make sure we’re able to keep us alive because what we have to do is build back Black wealth in our neighborhoods,” Kennedy said.

CIRA also gives Indianapolis realtors and realtists a place to create connections in the industry. This includes real estate brokers, property managers, appraisers, mortgage lenders, and more, according to Myra Lillard, a residential and commercial appraiser. Lillard is one of CIRA’s creators and former presidents.

The classes CIRA offers to the public cover money management and home ownership, which can “improve the quality of life of the unserved and underserved,” according to the CIRA website.

CIRA’s homeowner class covers the journey to buying a home, from the time buyers start thinking about ownership to when owners receive their house keys. During this class, attendees learn about obtaining a mortgage, financial literacy and the key players involved in home buying.

CIRA is hosting their next Homebuyer’s Ownership Program on Tuesday, May 14, at the Julia Carson Government Center located at [CJ1] 300 E Fall Creek Pkwy N Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46205. This class will include topics such as understanding credit, fair housing and protecting your investment.

To register for free, email www.cira.nareb@gmail.com.

CIRA also provides a class for what to do after people purchase their home.

“So, you have it, now how do you keep it? So, we have devised a post-purchase module as well. How to maintain it, take care of it, and avoid scams,” Lillard said.

CIRA offers classes on financial literacy, budgeting, aiming to change how people think about money and homeownership.

One day, Kennedy was passing out flyers for an upcoming CIRA homeownership class when a man told her he couldn’t attend because he was a felon.

“I said ‘You’re not in jail now. You can purchase a home,’” Kennedy said. “There are so many myths out there that people think they cannot do it.”

According to Kennedy, CIRA works to shed light on these misconceptions because they can hold the African American community back from building wealth, part of which means thinking differently about spending money.

She recommends steps like saving up to buy a house before purchasing a car, getting your nails done once a month instead of once a week and learning to save to buy items whose value will appreciate over time, as opposed to purchases like cars that immediately begin losing value.

“The cavalry is not coming for us. We’ve got to get [it] for ourselves. That’s what we want people to get into their heads,” Kennedy said. “We’ve got to learn to budget so that we can build something for ourselves. Nobody’s giving it to us. We’ve got to get it for us.”

You can find CIRA’s free classes on their website under the events tab. Their next homebuyer’s workshop will be on May 14 at the Julia Carson Government Center.

Contact Racial Equity Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847.

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